Canberra United claim fifth straight win

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Canberra United secured a fifth W-League victory in a row last night as they brushed off Melbourne Victory 3-0 thanks to goals from Jenna McCormick, Ashley Sykes and Michelle Heyman.

On a scorching hot afternoon, drinks breaks were required in each half in front of a strong crowd of 667 at McKellar Park.

A tepid first half saw the majority of chances fall Canberra’s away and Melissa Barbieri was kept busy in the Victory goal.

Ash Sykes comprised much of Canberra’s attacking threat, coming closest when she struck the post in the 36th minute after been afforded far too much space outside the box.

Victory appeared to struggle in possession, with the central backline of Thea Slatyer and Jamie Pollock pressed on the ball and often having to throw it away quickly to avoid a dangerous situation.

Melbourne failed to give Canberra the same treatment, allowing the home side the advantage of building attacks from the back.

After the break the home side came out firing and in the 47th minute they had the lead courtesy of Jenna McCormick. The forward latched onto a wonderful touch pass from Heyman to calmly finish past Barbieri in the visiting goal.

Just two minutes later Caitlin Munoz fired against the post after another great layoff from Heyman, but it took until just the 56th minute for United to double their advantage.

Ash Sykes backed up to Pollock in the Victory box, before faking and turning to rifle a shot above Barbieri and into the roof of the net.

Victory failed to respond, appearing to tire in the afternoon heat as they time and time again surrendered possession in an anonymous midfield display.

The visitors picked up gradually as the half wore on, coming closest from a Christine Nairn free kick in the 72nd minute, however despite Lydia Williams appearing to get a touch over the bar, a goal kick was awarded.

With both sides tiring and Canberra still well on top, the sealer arrived through the ever-present Michelle Heyman, who latched onto the end of a Kendall Fletcher pass. Barbieri saved Heyman’s first shot well but the ball squirmed away and the forward was able to tuck home tidily.

The game petered out following the third goal as Canberra settled slightly and the heat began to show on both sides.

A 3-0 win for Canberra still leaves them chasing Westfield W-League leaders Melbourne City in the table, while Victory remain rooted to the foot with only four points to their name.

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David Jordan
Former Taswegian now living in the Capital, an intern at The Football Sack. Get in touch at @DavidJordan33 to talk football or anything Sport.